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Published:November 19th, 2009 10:13 EST
IL. Woman Charged with Hate Crime

IL. Woman Charged with Hate Crime

By SOP newswire2

A southwest suburban woman has been charged with a hate crime for an alleged attack on a Muslim woman at a grocery earlier this month.

Amal Abusumayah was paying for groceries at the Jewel store at 17117 S. Harlem Ave. in Tinley Park on Nov. 7 when she felt a sharp tug on her headscarf. When she looked at who had pulled her hijab, she saw a woman who moments before had made a derogatory comment about Islam.

On Wednesday, Tinley Park police announced that Valerie Kenney, 54, has been charged with a hate crime, a felony that carries a possible sentence of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

"I was shaken up," Abusumayah told the SouthtownStar about the Nov. 7 assault. "This is my dignity and this is my religion."

Ahmed Rehab of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said his organization has reached out to the FBI to pursue federal charges.